One of the consistent Portland themes I always mention is the concept of “accidental entrepreneurship.” By that I mean, the innumerable creative folks in town who were inspired to build something to solve a problem they had simply for the sake of solving it. And then someone or someones said, “Hey, I’d pay for that.” And suddenly, they’re a startup.
For all of the hype around tech and tech startups, we seem to be sorely lacking in events that celebrate all of the amazing consumer products that call Oregon home. That was the motivation behind last year’s Built Up Festival. And it seems to have gone pretty well. So well, in fact, that it’s happening again, September 28-October 5, 2018.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: OTRADI has built the best incubator in the city, the Oregon Bioscience Incubator. Likely the best incubator in the state. Potentially in the northwest. And incubators are hard. Really hard. (That’s part of the reason PIE chose to morph into an accelerator.) So when there comes a chance to celebrate their accomplishments? I’m all over it.
Over the years, any number of Portland startups have taken the stage for TechCrunch Disrupts. CPUsage, Glider, and Vault, among others. (And oddly enough, two of those three got acquired.) So when TechCrunch comes knocking, looking for more Oregon startups, I’m always happy to help spread the word.
Digital healthcare has long been one of Portland’s strongest areas of startup success and support. But like so many awesome Portland things, it’s also a tightly knit community for which it can be difficult to figure out where to start. That’s why OTRADI Oregon Bioscience Incubator started a regular happy hour. So that making those connections could be easier.
Whenever folks ask me about getting a company started, I always recommend Startup Weekend as an option. In my experience, there’s no better venue for getting a crash course in startup stuff over an accelerated timeframe. Plus you meet potential cofounders and team members. It’s just a great set up. And now, leave it to Oregon to make it even better.
There was a time when Portland was at the forefront of access to civic data. Then we lost some ground. Maybe a great deal of ground. But we’re having a renaissance of sorts. With the Smart City PDX effort. And with Hack Oregon’s announcement of the new Civic platform.
Last night, the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) held their annual Oregon Tech Awards celebration gala, their biggest event of the year. (Coincidentally, GeekWire held their big Seattle tech awards last night, too.) And the Portland startup community was well represented.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Innovation can occur anywhere. It’s not just something that happens in an urban context. Or in major metropolitan areas. It happens all over. Throughout the state of Oregon. And that’s why Business Oregon has its Rural Opportunity Initiative (ROI) to help spark and support that activity.